2016 Session Speakers
Client Services Manager – Fragomen
Diego is a Client Services Manager splitting his time between Fragomen’s Dallas and Houston offices, where he provides advice to clients’ offshore workers, vessel and rig operators and commissions, engineers and technical personnel. Diego is an active member of and contributor to the Fragomen Energy Maritime Engineering & Construction (EMEC) Practice Group, through which he advises on complex aspects of international transfers onshore and offshore, including multinational assignments, exploration, drilling and docking vessels. He is a frequent speaker on topics relating to corporate immigration for international companies and investors in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and other Latin American destinations. Diego earned his Diploma in Human Resources Management from the University of Miami in 2007 and his Master of Laws from Case Western Reserve School of Law in 2003. He is also a graduate of the Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado (El Salvador) where he completed his Juris Doctor in 2001.
President – Leading People Partners, LLC
Todd is President of Leading People Partners, LLC., and focuses on Leadership. Talent, Strategy, and Change. His company provides consulting, training, and executive coaching. Todd is also co-host of the “Leading the People Side of Business” podcast and is the author of numerous articles on Leadership and Change. Todd has been featured several times on the TK Business radio program. Todd works to help leaders and HR professionals more effectively lead the people side of business. Todd is the former VP of Global HR for Payless ShoeSource, with responsibility for HR teams in the US, China, Australia, and Latin America. At Payless, Todd worked closely with C-level executives and the Executive team to build and execute talent strategies and programs. He was also Director of Learning and Development at Payless for seven years and has extensive Leadership Development experience. Todd has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from BYU as well.
Director, Compensation & Benefits – SolarWinds
Priya manages the Total Rewards strategy for multinational company, SolarWinds. She is a self-motivated, strategic compensation and benefits professional with strong analytical skills partnered with creative compensation design experience. She has a proven track record to program manage and implement successful, cost-effective compensation & benefits programs to attract and retain talent. She has nineteen years of experience in a multiple functional disciplines – global compensation, short & long-term incentive design, global benefits, executive compensation, finance / accounting, and supply chain with a strong aptitude for HRIS and compensation & benefit system solutions. Specialties: M&A due diligence, acquisition integration, global benefits, corporate bonus design, sales incentive design, market-pricing, global job structure creation, salary structure management, compensation systems implementation, in-business compensation consulting, HRIS systems, TW REWARD, recognition programs, US open enrollment, FMLA, 401k committee participation, international pension plans, executive compensation, and long-term incentive design.
SHRM-SCP, GPHR, MBA, Head of HR Advisory – Radius
Mike currently advises US companies setting up remote Sales / IT teams outside the US on all aspects of international expansion. He also manages a new E-learning platform to impart technical training in International HR to Radius US staff. Mike has more than 20 years’ experience working in the UK, France and US as a European HR executive and consultant working with such companies as United Airlines and Jones Lang Lasalle. Mike also sits on SHRMs Global Panel and has previously been an examiner for the GPHR Exam.
Partner – Fragomen
Kelly D. Cobb is a Partner at Fragomen’s Houston office, where she represents clients across a variety of industries, including the international energy sector, manufacturing, information technology, finance and shipping. She guides corporations in the development and implementation of strategic immigration policies and advises U.S. and international clients on immigration issues related to corporate restructuring including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and start-ups. Kelly has a broad range of experience in all areas of employment immigration, including nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, labor certifications, and family-based cases and citizenship. Kelly has in-depth experience working within Houston’s international energy sector, primarily focusing on large volume corporate immigration, including management of both U.S. immigration and global migration. She has more than 15 years of experience counseling clients in U.S. Outer Continental Shelf compliance, particularly focusing on assisting international corporations in vessel exemptions, specialist work authorizations and crew member exemptions. Kelly received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1986, and her Juris Doctor degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1997.
Area VP- Gallagher Benefit Services
With almost 30 years of industry experience, Shelly has worked with small and large companies in a variety of industry sectors. She prides herself on getting to know each client and understanding the nuisances of their industry. As a business owner in a previous life, she understand not only how to consult from the outside looking in but understands the challenges and complexities you face in running your business and competing for the best talent. Shelly’s primary focus is on finding unique strategic solutions to a company’s challenges by thinking outside the benefits box and looking at each organization as whole. Shelly’s strong analytical skills and commitment to excellent customer service makes her a trusted advisor to both clients and her team. Shelly began working in the international benefits area in the early 2000’s with oil and gas clients. She implemented multinational pooling arrangement, developed global attraction and retention strategy, successfully negotiated creative funding to ensure local compliance but reduce duplicate costs and designed overall global risk strategies.
GMS, Global Mobility Specialist, Americas – Lloyds Register
Heather Falk is the Global Mobility Specialist, Americas for Lloyd’s Register, a company specializing in compliance, risk and technical consultancy services. LR has approximately 900 employees in the Americas region which includes 30 offices in 13 countries. Heather’s responsibilities include the management of International Assignments for North and South America as well as Relocations, both foreign and domestic, and Immigration (for expatriates, commuters, and domestic hires) for North America. Prior to joining Lloyd’s Register, Heather was a Senior Legal Assistant with the immigration law firms: Quan, Burdette & Perez and Foster Quan for seven years. Heather is a member of the Forum for Expatriate Management (FEM) Advisory Board for the Houston Chapter and is a previous recipient of the FEM Global Mobility Rising Star of the Year award.
Ted is currently on contract to a major HR outsourcing firm, focusing on developing and implementing processes and products in support of their clients’ international employment needs. Ted has 28 years corporate HR experience in the oil & gas industry, with 20+ years supporting international operations (managing HR for international acquisitions & divestments; developing local HR processes, policies & staff) and managing global mobility programs.
Celina Joachim, J.D.
Partner – Baker & McKenzie LLP
Ms. Joachim regularly advises clients with regard to human resources and employment matters. Her experience includes defending employers in cases involving employment discrimination, retaliation, whistleblower laws, workers’ compensation retaliation claims, wage and hour, breach of employment contract, non-competition agreements, ERISA, and other employee-related tort claims. She is also seasoned in advising on Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) related matters, including implementation of affirmative action plans, as well as other federal government contractor issues. Ms. Joachim also conducts training for management, human resources personnel, and all levels of staff regarding various employment law issues, including discrimination and harassment matters, leave laws, equal employment opportunity and OFCCP matters, and hiring, discipline, and discharge issues.
Ms. Joachim rejoined Baker & McKenzie in July 2015 after serving as in-house labor/employment and litigation counsel at a leading energy company, where she managed employment and commercial litigation matters across the country.
Senior Vice President Human Resources – Baylor, Scott & White Health
Keri is proud to be part of Baylor, Scott & White Health, leading and contributing to achieve a great place to work for employees through strategies and programs embracing their mission, vision and values. Keri has twenty-five years of experience in developing HR strategies, structures and programs aligned to business specific needs across the technology, financial services, consumer goods, communications, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare industries. Companies range from small-cap to Fortune 500 companies with global operations across every continent, both publicly-traded and private equity. Keri is also an experienced leader in building and managing global HR functions including compensation, benefits, employee relations, talent management recruitment, learning and development, labor relations, employee engagement and communications. She is a leader in building high employee engagement culture and high performing organizations. Keri also has fifteen years of experience providing support and influencing Board of Director Compensation Committees. Her other areas of responsibility have included business development, marketing, finance and communications.
SHRM-SCP, Global CEBS, VP Employee Benefits/ International Total Rewards Consultant- Alliant Health and Benefits Consulting and Brokerage Firm
Kim’s 25 years in the field of Human Resources has been spent equally in the employer and consulting arena working with and for fortune 50 companies. Her leadership roles have allowed her to diversify not only her subject matter expertise but provide a thorough understanding of how to create and influence change within the organization to advance HR programs and strategies.
Dr. Bob Nelson, PhD
Dr. Bob Nelson, PhD
President – Nelson Motivation Inc.
Bob Nelson, PhD, is president of Nelson Motivation Inc. (www.drbobnelson.com), a management training and consulting company located in San Diego, California; an Executive Strategist specializing in HR Issues; and an international speaker who has presented on six continents. He has worked with 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies to help improve their strategies, systems and programs for better motivating & engaging employees to achieve exceptional performance and is a multi-million copy best-selling author of 1501 Ways to Reward Employees (now in its 62nd printing), Ubuntu! Inspiring Teamwork & Collaboration at Work, and his most recent book: Recognizing & Engaging Employees For Dummies. He has appeared extensively in the national media including CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio; and is a frequent expert resource for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Fortune and INC. magazines, among others. He holds an MBA in organizational behavior from UC Berkeley and received his PhD in management education from The Peter F. Drucker Graduate Management School at Claremont Graduate University in suburban Los Angeles. Dr. Nelson teaches for the MBA program of the Rady School of Management at the University of California at San Diego.
Partner – Fragomen
Shawn is a Partner in Fragomen’s Houston office, where he provides strategic, consultative advisory support and transactional services to clients. He currently works with large and mid-sized businesses to develop solutions to day-to-day global mobility challenges, including designing and implementing worldwide immigration programs. Shawn has more than 20 years of U.S. and global experience with a particular focus on supporting the needs of energy sector clients. He is known for solving difficult problems with creative, effective strategies that enable clients to be proactive rather than reactive. Shawn is the former chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Liaison Committee, and the former chair of AILA’s Texas Service Center Liaison Committee. Shawn earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1992 and his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University in 1989.
Group Manager, Mobility – Americas – WorleyParsons Group
Tony is responsible for WorleyParsons’ global mobility operations in Canada, US, Caribbean and Latin America. WorleyParsons has approximately 400 expatriates in 37 countries. Approximately 120 expatriates work in the Americas region. Tony’s global mobility career began at Shell Oil Company where he started out managing expatriate compensation. His role at Shell eventually grew into the overall administration of the US expatriate services function where he was responsible for all US inbound and outbound assignees (1,000+ expatriates). Following Shell, Tony worked at Air Liquide and Baker Hughes in global mobility management roles before joining WorleyParsons. Tony currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Forum for Expatriate Management – Houston Chapter.
Executive Vice President – Multinational HR/Benefits/ Arthur J. Gallagher
Richard Polak is responsible for all the activities of the Multinational Benefits and HR Consulting Unit (AJG). Mr. Polak has more than 30 years of experience providing solutions to organizations undergoing rapid global changes. He has advised more than 300 of the world’s most innovative multinational companies in international benefits, healthcare, pensions, and related areas. Mr. Polak has presented at conferences around the world, including the International Labor Organization’s congress in Geneva, the Bulgarian Conference on Social Security Reform, the National Conference on Pension Reform, the SHRM Global Forum, the WIPA Conference, ORC’s annual conference, and the IBIS Academy. Mr. Polak holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Mathematics from Alfred University in New York, with continued studies at Columbia University, the New School for Social Research, and UCLA. Mr. Polak is also a published playwright, having seven plays produced internationally, and is president of Open Fist Theatre Company in Los Angeles.
David M. Serwer, J.D.
Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Section of Immigration Law, Partner – Baker & McKenzie LLP
David M. Serwer represents and advises employers in legal matters related to the global transfer of personnel. He is a frequent speaker on topics relating to US immigration law and compliance, and has written numerous articles for US and international publications. Mr. Serwer is editor of the Firm’s Global Immigration & Mobility Update, and was co-author of the United States Business Immigration Manual. He is also actively engaged in pro bono legal work, managing and directing 2-3 naturalization clinics per year and represents 10-20 naturalization applications each year at naturalization hearings. Mr. Serwer’s practice focuses on global migration and executive transfers. He advises on corporate and employment-based immigration law — including non-immigrant work visa petitions, permanent employment certification applications and immigrant visa petitions. Together with his Chicago colleagues, Mr. Serwer manages approximately 2,000 cases on behalf of multinational companies — with each file or employee having a non-immigrant visa and possible immigrant visa matter pending.
IRS Enrolled Agent, Managing Director – Global Tax Network
Mark is currently advising multinational companies on global mobility related issues including expatriate taxation, payroll, equity compensation planning, international assignment policy review, and program administration. He has 15 years of experience with Big 4 firm providing expatiate tax services, including 7 years as an expat in Tokyo. Mark holds a BS: Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
Dr. Justin Velten
Doctorate of Philosophy in Communication, Assistant Professor of Communication -The University of Texas at Tyler
Dr. Justin Velten serves as Assistant Professor of Communication at The University of Texas at Tyler, where he teaches courses on Intercultural, Interpersonal, and Persuasive Communication. Before coming to UT Tyler, Dr. Velten served as Major Gifts Officer with Herald of Truth Ministries, an expatriate-focused Christian media missions organizations and Go Culture International Coach for expatriates preparing for international and intercultural experiences. His research interests lie within intercultural readiness training within education and missions as well as student engagement through service-learning. He has assisted the UT Tyler Global Awareness Through Education (GATE) program with intercultural readiness training and program assessment and has presented Service-Learning research in Canada and as well as Intercultural Communication research at the International Communication Association conference in Lodz, Poland, and was invited to speak at the International Intercultural Communication Scholars conference in Hong Kong and the Modern Society in the Context of Multicultural Communication conference in Moscow, Russia. Dr. Velten has also published research manuscripts in various areas related to the field of Communication and provides interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural communication consultation to local and multinational organizations.
Global Immigration Specialist – Council for Global Immigration (CFGI)
Andrew is a member of CFGI’s government affairs team and responsible for expanding CFGI’s advocacy on employment-based immigration policy in countries outside the United States and at international governmental organizations. He monitors and analyzes global politics and immigration policies to engage employers in CFGI’s global advocacy. Andrew has represented employers at the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization and at the Global Forum on Migration and Development, among other global policy forums. Previously, he supported CFGI’s global immigration research and helped administer CFGI’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Prior to joining CFGI, Andrew developed and coordinated virtual international exchange programs and worked as a paralegal for a major immigration law firm. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Politics and a Certificate in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University.